IKEA deploys food waste tracking

IKEA Canada achieved the goal of reducing food waste in its kitchens by over 30 percent within one year of implementing a new food waste tracking program.

IKEA Edmonton led the way with a reduction of 40 percent in one year. More than 94,000 kilograms of food waste has been saved since the program started in Canada, the equivalent of approximately 200,000 meals.

IKEA Canada has been using a food waste program provided by Leanpath since 2018. This program provides digital scales and touchscreens located directly in its kitchens that allow staff to weigh and track waste in real time.

This data is then automatically uploaded onto an online platform that allows IKEA to see what is being wasted in its kitchens, how much is being wasted and why it is being wasted.

“Our co-workers use these insights to then identify ways that we can prevent food waste, such as more efficient meal planning,” said Meghan Hogan, an IKEA Canada communications business partner, in an email to Solid Waste & Recycling. “Once the waste saving strategies have been implemented, the program allows co-workers to see how many kilograms of food waste has been saved and how that impacts our carbon footprint.”

This program is part of a larger global ambition to diminish food waste in all IKEA stores by 50 percent before the end of 2020.

“Food is valuable and precious. We believe that everyone in the food chain has a role to play in preventing and reducing food waste,” said Melissa Mirowski, sustainability manager at IKEA Canada. “Our target is ambitious, but we believe that by setting actionable goals and drawing on the passion of our co-workers, we can help tackle Canada’s food waste challenge.”

As part of its commitment to make its food services more sustainable, IKEA Canada also phased out single-use plastic straws from its product range and restaurants last year.